There are some folks who consider salad a boring meal — or at least a cursory side that is served before (or after as Europeans do as it’s considered a cleansing finish before cheese or dessert). But I never tire of salad, either before, during or after, and I often enjoy them as a main meal as they’re light, refreshing and a breeze to make.
Because I make salad at least five times a week, I like to change up the ingredients and end up never having the same meal twice. Depending on what’s in the crisper at any given time the greens vary from spinach and arugula to mizuna, red leaf and romaine. Forget iceberg — that is beyond boring I don’t care how the restaurants feature this wedge of water drowning in blue cheese and charge a ridiculous price for it.
I like to keep a nice supply of veggies, cheeses and nuts on hand as well: radishes, peppers, tomatoes, goat cheese or Parmesan and almonds or pecans as well as dried fruit such as cranberries or cherries. By the time I’m done concocting the salad, I’ve created a true edible masterpiece. Some days I add some protein: there’s grilled chicken, turkey, salmon or tuna or a hard-cooked egg. But when I want to treat myself, I add roasted or sauteed shrimp, skip the cheeses and nuts and indulge simply and deliciously. Here I’ve added a poblano pepper, cherry tomatoes from my garden and fresh corn sliced off the cob. The dressing is simple with lime juice added to give it a Southwest flavor. It was the perfect meal for a sultry summer night.
Shrimp, Corn, Avocado Salad with Lime Dressing
Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers.
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee, divided
1 pound uncooked shrimp, medium-size, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1 cup yellow corn on the cob, kernels removed (or 1 cup frozen, thawed corn)
1 medium poblano chili, seeded, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, chopped
6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup grape tomatoes, red and/or yellow, halved
1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
Coat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee; heat over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes; remove to a plate.
Rinse or wipe skillet clean. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add corn and poblano; increase heat to high and cook, stirring once or twice, until corn and poblano are golden in spots and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, water, lime juice, black pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and cumin until blended; stir in cilantro. Add lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, onion, sautéed corn and poblano; gently toss to mix and coat. Top with shrimp and serve. Serves 4.
Per serving: 328 calories; 20 g fat (8 g saturated fat; 55 percent calories from fat); 23 g carbohydrates; 5 g sugar; 116 mg cholesterol; 784 mg sodium; 17 g protein; 6 g fiber.